We spoke to good friend, Board Member and UD champion, Andrew Missingham, to talk about his incredible journey within the music industry and find out what being a part of UD means to him.
Andrew has been a friend of UD for nearly 20 years. Since June 2019, we have been privileged and proud to have him sitting on our Board, supporting the growing talent within Black music culture. Andrew is a drummer and music producer turned serial entrepreneur, with an impressive track record and reputation within the industry. He is the co-founder of management consultancy B+A, working with a diverse range of clients, form Nike to Beats by Dre, helping them understand the world around them and prepare for the future.
What does music mean to you?
Music is the language of the heart.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I was fostered when I was a teenager in the countryside. I was lucky enough to have my drum kit in a barn so I could practice every day after school. So I got good. And in the country, there wasn’t much else to do. So when I got back to London, I could play. I formed and managed a band with Tony Colman (London Elektricity), and it went from there..
How did you first get involved in UD’s mission?
UD has always been a champion for Black Music and Black Music culture. So in the roles I’ve been in over the years (whether as a musician and record producer myself, to a programmer first at the British Council, then at the Institute for Contemporary Arts, to an independent), the UD team has always been a go-to for what’s coming up and worth checking.
How have you seen the music industry evolve in the past 20 years in the industry?
It’s a tale of two sides – in some ways the “musical middle class” that used to exist, when independent labels, publishers, venues and distributors could support bands to earn a decent wage have been decimated. All the while, when, via self-serve methods, it’s never been easier to get your own high quality music out there. The tough trick now is standing out from the crowd making this into a living.
What is it about music that makes teaching liberal arts so important?
Creativity is the only hope for tomorrow’s economy, but it’s also the evolving soundtrack to our culture. Music (like all the arts) teaches the universally transferable work and life skills we all need if we are to create a future we can all aspire to.
What is your advice to lockdown musicians?
Hang in there. You’ve got music. That’s timeless.
What is UD to you?
UD is total A&R – spotting early not just the onstage talent, but those who power the industry from behind, and growing the love from those who’ll be in the audience championing Black Music as listeners and supporters.
What makes UD’s work essential?
There are two things – First: Black music culture has never received mainstream support in proportion with its contribution to British Culture. UD is an organisation at the forefront of righting that wrong. Equal first: UD provides the essential support great artists need, right when they need it.
What does the new Talent House mean for UD?
It means a home. A place to be, grow, relax, learn in, create in safety and thrive.